I’m not going to do a weekly wrap-up this week. (We didn’t read that many new books, so I’ll just push them off until next week when we’re going to do even less schoolwork.) Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers is still collecting weekly wrap-ups if you want to see what other people are doing. Instead, I was asked to help Cotopaxi promote having adventures by recommending some adventure fiction. I’m in favor of both real-life and reading adventures, so here are some books to help with both of those. (If you click on the title, you’ll follow a link to my original book review. If you click on the book cover, you’ll follow a link to purchase the book on Amazon.)
If you want to see what kind of adventure you can have in an urban environment, try Hidden Cities: Travels to the Secret Corners of the World’s Great Metropolises; A Memoir of Urban Exploration by Moses Gates. There’s a surprising amount of adventure you can have, in the forgotten parts of a city, either above or below your feet. It may not be the most legal of adventures, but they are there for the having, if you just look in the right places. Gates shows you some of the places to look.
If you like your adventure a bit more historical and full of war, I’ve got two choices for you. First up is Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan. This book is written more for the younger set, but it makes a great read aloud so the adult in the family can enjoy it as well. It’s set in WWII Norway and the plot involves using the children of a town to smuggle gold out from under the noses of the Nazis. For a different WWII adventure, Going Solo presents Roald Dahl’s adventures in Africa before and during WWII. He volunteers for the Royal Air Force, but is given inadequate training and poor equipment, which means he almost dies in the desert on the way to his first posting.
Prefer your adventures to be more science fictional? You should definitely read The Martian by Andy Weir. This is currently my favorite book (and it was made into a great movie) and is the modern-day version of the “stranded on a desert island” trope. It’s just that now, you have to go to another planet in order to be in a situation where rescue isn’t hours away. Throughout the book, Mark Watney has all kinds of adventures as he tries to get to a place where he can be rescued and the people back home try to figure out how they can get someone to rescue him. It certainly emphasizes the importance of science and math for survival, as well as tinkering and being able to put something together that will work when you don’t have exactly the right tool.
Finally, a couple of suggestions to encourage you and your kids to get out and have some adventures on your own. Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv and The Geography of Childhood: Why Children Need Wild Places by Gary Paul Nabhan and Stephen Trimble both discuss the importance of getting out and having your own adventures in natural places. This is especially true for children and their development, but it’s important for everyone to get out once in a while. It doesn’t have to be to anywhere fancy or involve much planning. A trip to the woods or down to the beach is fine. And once you’re there, don’t worry about the miles you put in. Concentrate on seeing what’s around you and experiencing what nature has to offer.
So, read any good adventures lately?
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